Chapter 1: Fundamental Tenets of Membership in the University Community

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1.B Fundamental Tenets Statement

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The statement below was adopted by the Senate Assembly on June 18, 1990.

The University of Michigan is a community devoted to learning. Members of our community advance, preserve, and transmit knowledge through study, teaching, artistic expression, research, and scholarship. As a public university, we have a special obligation to serve the public interest.

All who join the University community gain important rights and privileges and accept equally important responsibilities. We believe in free expression, free inquiry, intellectual honesty, and respect for the rights and dignity of others. We respect the autonomy of each person’s conscience in matters of conviction, religious faith, and political belief. We affirm the importance of maintaining high standards of academic and professional integrity. In defining the rights we enjoy and the responsibilities we bear, we must keep those basic principles in mind.

All members of the University have civil rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. Because the search for knowledge is our most fundamental purpose, the University has an especially strong commitment to preserve and protect freedom of thought and expression. Reasoned dissent plays a vital role in the search for truth; and academic freedom, including the right to express unpopular views, is a cherished tradition of universities everywhere. All members of the University have the right to express their own views and hear the views of others expressed, but they must also take responsibility for according the same rights to others. We seek a University whose members may express themselves vigorously while protecting and respecting the rights of others to learn, to do research, and to carry out the essential functions of the University free from interference or obstruction.

January 2022